Tuesday, 8 November 2016

The Legend of the Lad

The adaption of skate culture within the fashion industry has been an interesting one for me. Whether it’s Vestment’s influence for oversize hoodies during AW16, or the street style fad of ‘Thrasher’, it seems where we sit now within the ‘skate culture’ was unimaginable five years ago. Guess this is what you can also say about the thrive of lad culture. Brands like Umbro and Champion are becoming the 'cool' again, trickling into the high street. I mean just look at Zara and their very own take on the track hoodies and Topshop's very own tracksuits.

This direction of influence could be seen as a whole new turn for the industry. It’s become one of the prime examples of how influential we have become. Rather than addressing our trends to past decades or style icons, we have moved further – but taking dips of inspiration from each other. In perspective, normality is no longer a thing. No one wants to see a blogger in clothes which have been picked off the high street or are influenced from their mother’s wardrobe. The ’30 year trend cycle’ is dead, not to mention the reincarnation of vintage. Today, we are wanting to see the stereotypes, your social aspects and ideally the qualities that define who you are. None of this 'florals for spring' malarky, and more importantly no revival of the 80's. Times have changed. tracksuits have become the mod, the level of sophistication to the high-end and additionally a signification to the appreciation of style.

The best way to describe this shift in trends is the short documentary by GQ in talk with Elgar Johnson. He highlighted how Lad Culture has shaped elements of British fashion, from designers to the high street and ideally lifestyle. Commenting on this, Astrid Anderson explains she designs to what herself finds attractive rather than the 'typical' trend influence. Enthused by her ways of the creative process, I guess you can say she has hit the nail on the head.  No one designed for the decade we are in anymore. I mean, trends still consecutively throw us back on a bit of a timewarp, but safe to say stereotypical lifestyles are now a focal point.

the undying love of Vetements & Astrid Anderson last season

So whether you find this insulting (why do you wear Thrasher, do you even skate?) or enticing, it's happening. As a whole, we have become so obsessed with defining ourselves. Yes I'm edgy, or yes I'm in touch with my cultural side, just look at my aesthetically pleasing Instagram pictures - as people might say.
Normality is dead, and expressing what we are into is in. Womenswear has dabbled on this shift, but menswear has become the one to watch. Instead of men fantasised in a classic suit, the industry is wanting to see a man in a matching Adidas tracksuit and a bucket hat. "Sweatshirts and tracksuits have been the domain of young London designers for a while now, but the words 'streetwear' or 'sportswear' are demeaning to them: what they are creating is pure fashion," menswear journalist Charlie Porter said for the Financial times.

With LCM around the corner for January, I'm pretty intrigued to see what comes about, or at least get the press raving. Are we going to go backwards and realise high-end has lost it's 'glamorous' ethos or are we going to have another wave of caps and sweatshirts down the catwalk? Or is it finally time womenswear channel the 'chav' aesthetic for good, instead of dip dabbing around sports-luxury?

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